Whether they're serious or not, one thing's for sure about The Darkness, and that's that they know how to rock. If the sound of Seventies and early-Eighties cock-rock doesn't make you want to jump on the nearest table and unleash your air guitar, then this record is probably not for you. The Suffolk-bred Justin Hawkins (he was brought up in Lowestoft) sings in the kind of wailing falsetto that would make Robert Plant's hair stand on end, while his brother, the guitarist Dan Hawkins, betrays a childhood spent studying AC/DC, Judas Priest, Def Leppard and Van Halen in forensic detail. The Darkness aren't backward in coming forward, either - the Lycra-clad singer's greatest ambition is to be fired on stage as a human cannonball at Wembley Stadium. Permission to Land has it all - pulverising power chords, rolling choruses, lengthy guitar solos and suitably ghastly ballads. Songs such as "Get Your Hands off My Woman", "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" and - my favourite - "Love on the Rocks with No Ice" are essays in shallowness. It's hard to see where they can go from here. While The Darkness are more than a novelty act, their appeal is likely to be short-lived. When the so-called new rock revolution finally creeps back into the hole where it came from, the Suffolk quartet may find themselves left out in the cold. Let's hope they make it to Wembley before then.
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